Friday, 20 April 2007

At 4.10am no-one can hear you scream.....

Friday began, for me, at 4.10am when Mac’s plaintive cries could be heard emanating from his bedroom. The poor lamb had had a nightmare “about a big thing with all teeth and eyes” and refused point blank to stay in his bed, despite a performance of the “anti-monster” routine, first trialled after Eliza’s last Halloween party. He wasn’t having any of it.

He returned with me to my bedroom and snuggled up against his still sleeping father who expressed sleepy concern that I’d changed sex and shrunk since we went to bed, six hours earlier. “It’s me daddy!” Mac chirped, now wide awake and full of questions. “Why are there monsters in my head mummy?” he asked as he dug an elbow into my chest. “Because you ate cheese before bed.” I answered mumsily (and a little bit grumpily). “Yes but why does that make them in my head?” he went on, kicking the duvet away from him and uncovering both David and myself. “Because……well, there are monsters everywhere. And sometimes people think of them when they’re asleep.” Cue wide-eyed terror from Mac who sat bolt upright in bed, no doubt expecting to see a bug eyed monster hovering at the foot of the bed. “Go to sleep” David contributed as he slid further down the bed in search of the duvet.

“Will the monsters get me?” Mac continued, wrapping both arms round my neck and breathing his sweet baby breath into my face. “No darling, daddy and I will look after you” I promised, already both eyes shut and willing myself to re-enter the Land of Nod. A blissful two minutes of silence before the next thunderbolt. “Mummy, have you got a baby in your tummy?” This time it was David that shot bolt upright in bed, no doubt expecting to see the stork hovering at the food of the bed.

“No” I replied even more grumpily. I know I’ve only been exercising for two weeks but come on. David settled down again, his back to us both. Another minute of silence. “Mummy, how do babies get into ladies tummies?” I could hear David snigger and try to disguise it as a snore. Was I fully prepared to discuss the birds and the bees with my three year old son at twenty past four in the morning? Is there ever a good time to discuss this with your children? The bulk of my sex education came from Miss Ross in Biology in the first year of secondary school which entailed looking at pictures of the different bits that men and women have (inside and out) and putting a condom on a courgette. I tell you, my twelve year old self was fainting clean away at the sheer size of the courgette whilst my school mates attempted to act blasé. Oh, and from a conversation with my mother when I was nine and I asked her, on the way back from seeing her friend in Islington, how babies were made. We were on the top deck of a 171 at the time and there were lots of interested parties up there, listening in. Mum, bless her, told me the bare – if slightly untrue - facts. A man’s tadpole meets a ladies seed and that makes a baby. I demanded to know how that happened. I still remember my exact words “What, do they leap of the man and lady and do this on the mattress?”. Mum shushed me and looked out of the window for the rest of the journey home.

Mac was still waiting for a reply and was stroking my face. “You’re lovely mummy” he said with a cheesy grin. Pleased with the fact that we could discuss my loveliness rather than the facts of life, I smiled goofily. Nope, he was still on a roll. “So how do they mummy? Do you swallow them?” his eyes were the size of dinner plates. Another snigger from David. I fudged around a bit and started with the usual sentence. “When a man and a lady love each other very much……”. I didn’t want my son growing up and impregnating every young lady he has the good fortune to meet. I want him in a proper relationship, preferably with marriage behind them and excellent job before any begetting takes place. I ended up with “….and that’s how babies are made!”. Mac still looked confused. “But you and daddy are always sleeping together…..and you’ve only had one baby!”

Something tells me that I shouldn’t have used any euphemisms. I changed tack and went for the bare details. Driving it home, as it were. Mac’s dinner plate eyes doubled in size. “Eurgh, that’s hobbible!” he yelled, clutching at his head. Yes, I’d told him straight. He didn’t like it. “Eurgh, daddy!” he continued, turning and pummelling his father in his kidneys. David shot me a look and admitted defeat on the sleep front. “That’s how mummy had you though lad, how can it be horrible?” Mac wasn’t convinced and had both hands covering his eyes. “Hobbible” he reiterated.

David sighed into the early morning darkness and said. “You do realise he’s going to tell everyone about this. We’ll end up being tarred and feathered and put on the Bad Parent’s Register”.

Am sure I’m already on that, somewhere.

1 comment:

dulwichmum said...

For once, I am speachless!


All about me

My photo
Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.